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DB2

Posted Jun 12, 2007

Rational Data Architect and DB2 9: The Rest of the Database Explorer View

By Paul Zikopoulos

In my latest articles, I’ve been writing about the IBM Rational Data Architect (Rational DA) integrated development environment (IDE) that’s specifically designed for those involved in data server design and schema evolution. So far, I’ve shown you how to add a database connection, which becomes the basis from which all of your work is directed. In addition, I've detailed how to build SQL statements using the SQL builder and the SQL editor, and described a bunch of really cool features that minimize design time errors and lead to faster and more robust deployments. I’ve also explained how to visualize your database storage using a storage diagram. In this article, I detail the rest of the features in the Database Explorer view.

To follow along with this present article, you should have a connection to the SAMPLE database (created by entering the db2sample –xml command from your operating system’s command line processor) and have a live connection to it from the Database Explorer view.

Database Explorer view actions from a database object

You can perform a number of actions from a database object in the Database Explorer view. You can see these options by right-clicking your database connection:

The actions that you can perform from a selected database are:

  • Copy – Copies a database connection’s objects into the Data Model folder of a Data Design project located within the Database Project Explorer view. (You will learn more about Rational DA projects in subsequent articles in this series.)

    In the previous figure, you can see that the SAMPLE database connection was copied and pasted into the PZDataDesignProject and can be viewed within the Data Model folder.

  • New SQL Statement – As detailed in a previous article in this series, invokes the SQL editor or SQL builder so you can create an SQL statement.

  • Generate DDL – Generates the data definition language (DDL) required to recreate the selected object. When you select this option from a database, you can choose from among several objects and supporting business rules available to include in the generated DDL.

    In the following example, you can see that I’ve instructed Rational DA to generate the DDL with fully qualified names for the database and its existing tables. I’ve specifically left out other objects in the schema, and business rules such as referential integrity constraints and primary key constraints:

    Rational DA gives you the option to run the generated DDL immediately or place the entire DDL into a designated project as a script file:

    In the previous figure, you can see that I selected a project in which to place the generated DDL script file using Browse and a corresponding Rational DA project. (I used the project I showed you how to create in a previous article.) When you have specified a project and its path, click Next, verify the scripting actions you requested in the Summary window, and click Finish.

    All the generated DDL is placed in the selected project’s SQL Scripts folder as a script file called script1.sql:

  • Visualize Topology Diagram – Creates a read-only visualization diagram of the peer relationships among objects in your data server (for example, schemas and tables). You can drill down into these objects by clicking to expand each object tree:

    You can see in the previous figure that the generated topology diagram includes federated tables as well as regular tables. For example, the Northwind1 object is actually a federated nickname that represents a table that resides in a Microsoft Access database, where two other tables, called ORDERS and EMPLOYEES, reside.

    A dashed line in this diagram shows peer relationships between source and target objects. A peer relationship line can show connections between nicknames (as is the case above), tables, views, materialized query tables (MQTs), and table aliases.

    If you right-click an object in a topology diagram, you see a pop-up menu with the options that you can perform on that object. For example, you can hide a table or schema from the topology diagram or quickly navigate to its location in the Database Explorer view.

    Note that if the topology diagram is very large, you can navigate it using the Outline view, as discussed in my previous article on storage diagrams. In addition, note the filtering icon () in the top-right corner of the database name in this topology diagram. This icon indicates that the database has a filter applied to it. (In a previous article in this series, I showed you how to apply schema filters to database connections in the Data Explorer view.)

    You can use the Preferences button (shown at the top of the diagram in the previous figure) to configure the way the topology diagram looks in Rational DA.

    When you click this button, the following window opens:

    Use the Peer relationships controls to show or hide relationships between objects in the database. For example, Always show peer relationships (selected by default) shows the relationship lines between related objects (as shown in the topology diagram used in this article). Hide peer relationships until the object is selected hides the dashed lines until you select the object.

    Use the Icon text style controls to set how names appear in the topology diagram. Truncate long text, selected by default, shortens long object names, as shown in the sample topology diagram. Wrap long text shows the full names of these objects:

    The rest of the fields in this window can be used to filter the schema (if it isn’t already filtered) and the tables in the diagram.

  • Refresh – Updates the objects shown in a view. For example, when you create a new table in the database, this option refreshes the objects in the Database Explorer view so that the new table appears.

    The Refresh option exists on every folder’s pop-up menu in the Database Explorer view. If you select it from the pop-up menu of a database object, it refreshes all the database’s folders. In contrast, if you select this option from a single folder, only the objects in that folder are refreshed.



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